In today’s rapidly changing scientific landscape, where breakthroughs happen at an accelerated pace, the need for effective and open channels of communication among research funders has never been more significant. It’s worth revisiting the momentous strides made at last year’s Funder Forum hosted by Altum in Strasbourg, France. The purpose of this reflection is not only to celebrate the past but also to highlight the compelling reasons why you should consider registering for this year’s forum.
The inaugural forum, held on September 7, 2022, broke new ground by bringing together a diverse group of research funders. These stakeholders delved deep into the foundational areas affecting the scientific grant-funding community: Open Science, Collaboration and Joint Funding, and Outcome and Impact Reporting. The event was curated to foster open dialogue, featuring opening presentations followed by break-out discussions that culminated in collective takeaways and actionable insights.
Collaboration and Joint Funding
The consensus was unequivocal: Collaboration is the cornerstone of modern grant funding. Attendees emphasized the importance of a research grants management system capable of supporting joint programs. A fascinating takeaway was the term coined, “science without borders through interdisciplinary, international, collaborative research.” This concept served as a clarion call, reinforcing the idea that multi-disciplinary research is the future and that joint funding is its lifeline.
Here, optimism was in ample supply, particularly with statistics showing that 80% of applicants on ProposalCentral now possess an ORCID ID, compared to a measly 20% just five years ago. Attendees collectively agreed on the need for ‘many other opens’—open metadata, open infrastructure, and open governance. They stressed the critical role of organizations like Crossref, ORCID, and DataCite in providing the necessary infrastructure for Open Science.
Outcome and Impact Reporting
Gone are the days when the publication of a paper in a scientific journal was the only measure of impact. The modern metrics of impact are multifaceted. They span sentiment analysis on social media to failure analysis for improved future funding decisions. The new paradigm acknowledges that science is no longer confined to dusty journals but is a dynamic entity resonating across digital channels.
So, what concrete actions did the forum’s delegates commit to? The answer is manifold but pivots around two core questions. “What actions will you commit to as a result of today’s discussion?” and “What should we do as a group to build on these topics going forward?” In response, many delegates shared plans to revamp their grant application processes, incorporate data stewardship in their research initiatives, and explore novel metrics of impact.
The Road Ahead
The quality of conversations and actionable ideas that emerged from the first Forum on Global Grants Management signaled an urgent and unmet need. It set the stage for future discussions, collaborations, and transformative actions. As Guntram Bauer, the Director of Science, Policy & Communications at HFSP aptly said, “In this inaugural session, we planted the seed for future growth. I’m excited to build on what we’ve started.”
As we look forward to this year’s forum, the question is not just what you will gain from attending, but also what you will contribute to this evolving, collaborative narrative.
Act Now: Time Is Running Out for the Funder Forum 2023 Registration
We’re officially in the final stretch! If you experienced the transformative power of last year’s forum, you already know you can’t afford to miss this. If you’re considering attending for the first time, the potential for groundbreaking discussions and actionable insights for this year is unparalleled.
Your voice and perspective are crucial for enriching this unique platform of knowledge sharing and collaboration. Join us and be part of shaping the future of global grants management.